Jobs Talks Software at Macworld
- By John K. Waters
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs used his opening keynote at last week's annual Macworld Conference in New York to talk software. Jobs gave attendees a preview of the first major upgrade to the Mac OS X operating system, and showed off 10 applications under development or currently available for the new OS.
"Our great software team worked really hard to get the first release [of OS X] out," Jobs told a packed conference room at the Jacob Javits Center in New York last week. "But we didn't let them stop."
Nicknamed "Puma," Mac OS X 10.1 will play DVD movies, will include new networking features, and will provide improved handling of digital photos, Jobs said. Jobs also promised faster launching of applications, resizing of windows and other performance enhancements. The upgrade is expected to be available in September through the built-in software update feature within OS X.
During a demo of the update, Jobs launched several applications, all of which opened faster in OS X 10.1. He also showed how things like resizing windows and scrolling through menus were faster in the updated version. "You name it, it's faster," he said.
Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, demoed the new Office suite for the Mac, due out this fall. "We want to make sure this product could be held up as a poster child for Mac OS X," Browne said.
The applications in the new Office suite had been "Carbonized," Browne said, which is Apple's term for applications ported to OS X from older version of the Mac OS. The Mac version of Office uses OS X's multi-tasking and protected memory features for better performance. It includes more than 700 redesigned buttons and 800 dialog boxes that exploit OS X's new Aqua interface. "We combined Office's tools with the power of OS X to allow you to do things you could never do before in Office." Office 10 is slated for release sometime after Mac OS X 10.1 ships.
According to Apple, since the new OS was launched in March of this year, more than 1,000 applications have shipped that run natively in the new OS. A recent Apple poll of Mac developers found that 29 percent planned to release an OS X-native product within three months of last May's Worldwide Developers' Conference. Fifty-five percent planned to release OS X products within six months of the conference.
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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached